Kingdom of Iraq

The Kingdom of Iraq (المملكة العراقية) was the sovereign state of Iraq after the end of British Mandate of Mesopotamia. It began with the coronation of Faisal I in August 1921 and ended in 1958 when the monarchy was over thrown in a bloody coup lead by Abd al-Karim Qasim

Hashemite monarchy

Iraq was granted independence in 1932 with Faisal I as king. This made Iraq the first mandate created under the Treaty of Versailles to be granted independence. However the British retained military bases in the country. After Faisal died in 1933, king Ghazi reigned as a figurehead from 1933 to 1939 when he was killed in a motor accident. Pressure from Arab nationalists demanded that the British leave Iraq, their demands were ignored by the United Kingdom.

Anglo-Iraqi War and Second British Occupation

The 1941 Iraqi coup d'état overthrew the regent Nuri as-Said and placed Rashid Ali al-Gaylani as prime minister. Ali did not overthrow the monarchy, but installed a more compliant Regent, and attempted to restrict the rights of the British under the treaty from 1930.

On April 30 the Iraqi Army established itself on the high ground to the south of the Habbaniya air force base. An Iraqi envoy was sent to demand that no movements, either ground or air, were to take place from the base. The British refused the demand and then themselves demanded that the Iraqi army leave the area at once. After a further ultimatum given in the early hours of May 2 expired, at 0500 hours the British began bombing the Iraqi troops threatening the base.

Hostilities lasted from April 18 to May 30, 1941. The British would continue to occupy Iraq for many years afterward.

Republic Declared

Hashemite monarchy lasted until 1958, when it was overthrown through a coup d'état by the Iraqi Army, known as the 14 July Revolution. King Faisal II along with members of the royal family were excuted. The coup brought Abd al-Karim Qasim to power. He withdrew from the Baghdad Pact and established friendly relations with the Soviet Union.

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